Irate MyCiTi commuters in Khayelitsha are calling for the City of Cape Town to get its act together and render quality service to the users of the service.
According to the commuters there is only one MyCiTi kiosk in the area, with others out of service for at least three weeks.
When Vukani visited the only kiosk in Kuyasa, on Friday November 10, a security guard on duty turned Vukani away, saying the kiosk has not been working for a month.
Parent Zoliswa Lonja said her children used MyCiTi and battled with “poor” service.
She claimed that scores of people were turned back because the kiosk was not working. “For a third week in a row I have to drive to Cape Town just to buy tickets for my children. Imagine those who don’t have the advantage I have. This is ridiculous,” she said.
“We deserve a better service than the one we are getting. There should be improvement in their service.”
The irate Ms Lonja said it was a mistake to have one kiosk in a big area as Khayelitsha. “Only one kiosk in Khayelitsha to load MyCiTi bus cards is just not on. It has been more than three weeks that the kiosk is out of service. Three weeks ago I went there on a Sunday and I was told they were off-line. The following week again the same story. I had to drive to Cape Town for only that reason.
“On Monday October 30 I went to the same Kuyasa kiosk; the story was the same-off-line. My twins were puzzled by what was going to happen. They got into the bus scared of what could happen. I went there today and was welcomed by the big ‘out of order’ note,” she said.
Ms Lonja accused the City of not caring about commuters. She went on to say people are now justified to use their cars and not public transport.
She added that if MyCiTi failed the users, those who had cars should fill the roads with their cars. She said the bus users deserve better service.
This cannot be service delivery but a burden to the bus users. Of course you pay penalties but who is taking into consideration the reason why one could not load the ticket. We also deserved a quality service. I think there is no urgency in the matter and if there is an alternative it must be written on the window,” she told Vukani.
Another user, Thukela Manana said she was lucky that she never loaded her card at the kiosk but she condemned the service given to people of Khayelitsha.
She also questioned having one kiosk to serve a big area like Khayelitsha. “I always load in town, not in the township. People that use MyCiTi are not only around Kuyasa to Site B, and C as well. Imagine those people should go that far to load their cards. Whoever came up with the initiative did not know how big Khayelitsha is. There should be more of these kiosks,” she said.
In response to Vukani’s enquiries, Brett Herron, the mayoral committee member for transport and urban development, admitted there was a problem.
He said the power outage at the MyCiTi Kuyasa kiosk was the result of an accident that damaged an Eskom electrical kiosk. “On replacement of the Eskom electrical kiosk a week ago, it was discovered that the cable to the MyCiTi kiosk was also stolen, and therefore the power has not been restored at the MyCiTi kiosk as yet. The City is currently in negotiations with Eskom to have the cable replaced. It is therefore not possible to say when the power at the Kuyasa kiosk will be restored as we rely on Eskom to resolve the matter,” he said.
He said the City regrets the inconvenience caused to commuters, but restoring the power at the kiosk in Kuyasa is not a simple matter as the City relies on Eskom for replacing a stolen cable. He added that cable theft and attacks on the MyCiTi assets be it buses or stations, are beyond their control.
He said these crimes had the worst effect on those most in need of public transport services.
“I am urging anyone with information about the cable theft or violent attacks to please contact their nearest police station. The public can also report vandalism and other important information to the City’s Transport Information Centre on 0800 65 64 63,” he said.
He said commuters could also use the Khayelitsha Telecommunications Company (Shop No. 30, Khayelitsha Mall, Walter Sisulu Mall) and can also can top up their cards.